COVID-19

Updated Oct. 23, 2020.

For the latest information from Western Michigan University, visit the WMU news web page about the evolving situation. Highlights of the Health Center's response include:

Any WMU student, faculty or staff member with or without COVID-19 symptoms may contact the Sindecuse Health Center for testing:

  • If you have symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell or close contact with someone with a confirmed positive case, make an appointment on the patient portal. If the portal shows no openings available, we may be able to schedule you earlier by phone.
  • If you're not experiencing symptoms and not had close contact you may call us to be placed in a drive-thru testing times.
  • Calls to the appointment line at (269) 387-3287 are answered in the order received.

Precautions at the health center and WMU

The health center is taking further precautions to reduce the risk to the campus community:

  • Implementing WMU's COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan (PDF) and Safe Reurn to Campus.
  • Asking patients to wear masks, limiting visits to patients only, no friends allowed to accompany.
  • Asking to see the daily screening survey badge.
  • Limiting visitors, taking their temperature.
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning in high-traffic areas.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). The virus can be spread by people before they show symptoms, or if they never develop serious symptoms.

How easily does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading in the community. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure, based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses:

  • Fever (above 100.4F degrees)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden loss of sense of taste or smell

Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC recommendations and government orders for using a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

What to do if you develop symptoms

Call ahead to a healthcare professional—do not visit in person—if:

  • you develop any of the symptoms described above
  • have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or

Your healthcare professional will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.